Reading The Green Newsletter

Community Links- Five Years Later

This spring marked an exciting milestone for us here at Staples Golf—the 5-year anniversary of the Community Links™ whitepaper!

Dear Community Golf Fan,

This spring marked an exciting milestone for us here at Staples Golf—the 5-year anniversary of the Community Links™ whitepaper!  This paper served as our firm's call-to-action for an industry re-imagination of what our municipal courses could be.  It’s incredible to see how far municipal golf has come since 2016, and we feel our efforts with the Community Links™ vision have been a major force behind this growth.  If you haven’t been acquainted yet, be sure to click here to download the full whitepaper for free.
With the recent surge in golf interest, it’s safe to say that the Community Links™ vision is more relevant now than ever before!  In this edition of RTG, we’ll highlight some of our key takeaways on the past five years as well as some exciting examples of this vision in action.
Lessons Learned

Above everything detailed in the Community Links™ whitepaper, one trend clearly stands out to this day—municipal facilities that have embraced innovative, sustainable, and community-oriented golf experiences are truly coming center stage in the industry.  People want access to the outdoors more than ever, and municipal courses—with a little re-imagination—can provide valuable social and recreational opportunities for golfers and non-golfers alike.

Though always dependent on the unique community context, we’ve often found these types of opportunities to be key in achieving these benefits:
  • High-quality, diversified, and accessible practice facilities.
  • Short courses and other learning areas for kids, beginners, and non-golfers.
  • Welcoming and inclusive social spaces with connections to the course experience.
  • Additional non-golf recreation such as trails, picnic areas, volleyball, fishing, etc.
  • Community-oriented programming such as concerts, farmer’s markets, and festivals.
  • Sustainability initiatives and practices that are visible, interactive, and celebrated.
Community Links in Action

Following the principles set forth in the Community Links™ whitepaper, our firm has had the privilege of working with numerous municipal facilities to enhance their community golf experience.  The vision was first championed in our flagship design at Rockwind Community Links and has since continued with re-imagination plans for Liberty Lake Golf Course, Mill Valley Golf Course, the City of South Jordan, UT, and Los Alamos County, CA —click here to see these projects and more!

This type of community-oriented golf experience has also become a growing trend outside of our firm.  Notable successes include the revamp at Winter Park Golf Course, a fantastic grassroots effort at Goat Hill Park, the classic-style restoration of Charleston Municipal Golf Course, and the recently announced Glenway Golf Park project in Madison, WI spearheaded by Michael Keiser Jr.

All of these courses provide great examples of the model that’s bringing more excitement to the game, encouraging more people to play, growing civic pride for our local courses, and ultimately improving the economic viability of municipal golf.
What you need to know:
  • The Community Links™ whitepaper is more relevant now than ever before!
  • Many municipal courses have made their name known in the industry through investment in innovative community-oriented opportunities.
  • A community-focused municipal course enhances value, increases patronage, builds community pride, and invests in the next generation golfer.
  • With golf’s surging interest, now is the time to invest in your course’s community experience!
A big thanks to all of you who have been with us throughout our Community Links™ experience!  We’re excited to continue growing this philosophy and sharing our thoughts with you.  And if you have any stories on how these concepts have helped your course, suggestions to improve Community Links™ moving forward, or are interested in implementing these strategies at your course, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our website or at

Until next time—keep on re-imagining!

Andy Staples, ASGCA

Andy Staples

Andy Staples, ASCGA member and principal of Staples Golf Design, was brought to golf at the age of seven by his dad, having learned the game at West Bend Country Club, in West Bend, WI, a turn of the century course designed by Langford & Moreau.

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